Are you planning to start your investment management business in the British Virgin Islands (BVI)? Here’s all you need to know about the process and the pertinent regulation.
Does My Company Activity Come under ‘Investment Business’?
For all intents and purposes, an investment business includes the following activities:
- Providing investment advice
- Providing administrative or managerial services pertinent to investments
- Managing third-party investments
- Dealing in or arranging deals in investments
- Functioning in an investment exchange
Here, ‘investment’ refers to company equity, vested interest in a fund or partnership, debt, debentures, derivatives or other financial instruments. Cash and real estate are not considered as investments.
From 2010, investment business in the BVI was regulated by a special act. The zone has been one of the profounding grounds for business investors who are looking forward to setting up an offshore company.
Securities and Investment Business Act
Investment business in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) is regulated under the Securities and Investment Business Act, 2010 (SIBA). It provides that no individual may conduct investment business of any kind in or from the BVI unless one is licensed by the BVI Financial Services Commission (FSC) for the same.
SIBA is applicable to:
- BVI entities carrying out investment business within or outside the BVI, and
- Non-BVI entities carrying out investment business within the BVI
Before the enactment of SIBA, the said licensing was required only for BVI companies providing services categorized under mutual funds. Consequently, investment business used to fall outside the purview of the regulatory regime.
This has changed 2010 onwards.
So, How to Conduct Investment Management in the BVI?
The BVI introduced the Approved Manager’s regime in 2012. This is a special license that may be issued in cases where a full management license is unwarranted under SIBA.
To be classified as an approved manager, a licensee must:
- Be a BVI company
- Have 2 directors (who needn’t necessarily be BVI residents)
- Have a licensed authorized representative in the BVI
Such an approved manager may manage or advise on private or professional funds recognized under SIBA, in addition to funds outside the BVI in a recognized jurisdiction.
Are you looking to set up an investment management company in the BVI? For that, you’d have to avail authorized representative services in addition to company incorporation, in keeping with the Securities and Investment Business Act. Here’s where BSW can assist you.
Also, make sure to go through our guide on BVI Offshore Company Formation Rules to get an overall idea on the legal proceedings.
Our team of experienced advisors help entrepreneurs start their business globally in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. With us, you get end-to-end regulatory support consulting for setting up your investment business in the BVI. Do feel free to reach out to us – we’d be happy to guide you.
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